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EU import changes are coming March 1, 2023. Here’s what you need to know.

Jan. 31 2023

What is ICS?  

ICS is the Import Control System administered by the European Union (EU).  The goal of ICS is to improve border security and safety through enhanced data collection for imported shipments. ICS requires specific data elements on every import before EU customs authorities will clear the shipment. Shipping companies are required to submit this mandatory data electronically, increasing the speed and efficiency of cross-border trade.

What changes with ICS2?

ICS2 is the second update to the EU’s Import Control System (ICS). The first release required postal and express carriers to submit all mandatory data elements electronically before arrival and went into effect on March 15, 2021.

Starting March 1, 2023, ICS2 expands the scope of parties required to send shipment data electronically. ICS2 requires freight forwarders and air carriers to send the ICS data elements under ICS2.

How do I prepare for ICS2?

Be ready to send data elements required for EU imports. Two of the new data requirements are:

  • A six-digit Harmonized System (HS) code for every product shipped. A ten-digit, country-specific HS code is acceptable if available.

  • Accurate product description for every product shipped. Descriptions should clearly state what the product is, what it’s made of, and what the intended use is.  

Most importantly, make sure your EU shipping partners can send ICS2 data elements on March 1, 2023.

Is Passport ready for ICS2?

Yes! The Global Trade team at Passport has been keeping updated on ICS2 regulations and timelines. We are ready to accept and transmit all required ICS2 data elements. Additionally, we can work with you to obtain accurate and updated HS codes and product descriptions if needed. Any questions about ICS2 can be addressed to

More Resources

Import Control System 2 (ICS2) - Overview

Acceptable and Unacceptable Goods Descriptions


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− Passport Shipping team